Aug 11

About last night …. enough is enough.

OK, I understand about the injuries. The Mets are a hurting group and won’t be whole again this season. We probably won’t see Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran until spring training. The next time we see Carlos Delgado at Citi Field will likely be in a road uniform.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.


Lack of all their parts has cost the Mets a considerable number of their 60 losses, but also damaging has been their often uninspired, lazy, sloppy brand of baseball. Sloppy was on full display in last night’s loss at Arizona.

Manager Jerry Manuel simply told reporters last night, “we were a bad team,” and privately lashed out at several players. Daniel Murphy failed to cover first base on what could have been a double play; instead Anderson Hernandez threw to an empty base. (Not too bright, either.) Angel Pagan didn’t think on two costly outfield plays, one a careless dive and the other an errant throw. Both led to runs.

And, Mike Pelfrey continued to languish in mediocrity. Pelfrey, who had been expected to make significant strides this season, is floating through this season in Oliver Perez-like fashion.

OK, the Mets aren’t whole, but that’s no excuse for playing lazy-thinking and lazy-hustling baseball. Physical errors are part of the game, but errors caused by a lack of concentration or preparation are never acceptable. Never.

Here’s the deal. Before every pitch, a defensive player must ask himself what he would do if the ball were hit to him. He should have a plan. Hustle is admirable, but misplaced hustle, as in Pagan’s dive, is not smart baseball. And, Pagan has made more than his fair share of poor-thinking plays on the bases.

Injuries are one thing, but there have been numerous instances of undermanned and under talented teams winning – and that includes the World Series – by playing fundamentally sound. Not doing so is the first indication a team is packing in a season. It is a sign of quitting, and that’s a reflection on a manager, and Manuel can’t be happy about that prospect.

Believe me, everything will be open to evaluation after the season and that includes the manager. Manuel will be judged more on if he still has the ear and backing of the players than a won-loss record that at this rate will be lucky to be .500.

After chewing on his players, Manuel also blamed fatigue, but that’s his responsibility. David Wright gets only his second rest of the season tonight, but there have been other opportunities to give him a blow. There is simply no reason why fatigue should be an issue if the players are utilized properly. Conversely, there’s no reason why Francisco Rodriguez’s slide can be attributed to rust. Giving regular and consistent workloads to a player is also the responsibility of the manager and coaching staff.

When the story of this season is written, four sentences from Manuel last night will neatly summarize what has been the storyline to too many games this season: “A very poor game. A poor effort on our part. Despite maybe not having what we’d like to have, still it’s the major leagues. We have to perform better than that.”

Says it all, really.

It is true, true character is more revealed in times of adversity than prosperity. And, with the season dwindling away, the Mets still have a chance to salvage something. Their pride and self-respect, or at least a fraction of what is left. The season won’t just be neatly packaged by the injuries, but by the effort in the remaining 50 games.

Those 50 games will also go a long way toward the off-season evaluation process and the quest for jobs next spring.

Aug 10

Sit Beltran; try to move Delgado.

At this stage of the game, and there is little game left for the 2009 New York Mets. We know they aren’t going to catch the Philadelphia Phillies, and they have to leapfrog almost the entire National League to have a puncher’s chance at a wild card.

They must start to make moves with 2010 in mind, and at the top of that list is to shut down Carlos Beltran and seriously evaluate the need for surgery. If Beltran does eventually need surgery, wouldn’t it be better to have it done now rather than October or November?

BELTRAN: Let him rest.

BELTRAN: Let him rest.


Should he get it now, he’ll have an extra three months to rehab, and Padres outfielder Brian Giles, who underwent the procedure microfracture surgery, said he’ll need every day.

“I would let it calm down and be ready for next year, having gone through what I went through,” Giles told reporters over the weekend. “There’s a lot of risk with this injury, especially with a young player like him. It could affect him for a long period of time.

“I rehabbed my butt off. I’ve never worked so hard to get ready for a season.”

Beltran is not soft nor is he a slacker, however, rehabbing is tough work and he’ll need the time to overcome the inevitable setbacks and slow points.

With little to play for this season, the Mets can’t afford Beltran risking further injury. Or eating a lot of time then opting for surgery. And, what is there is a problem with surgery or a longer than anticipated rehab? The extra time gained by doing it now would be essential.

Why push him for no reason?

As far as Delgado is concerned, the Mets aren’t going to offer him arbitration, which he’d obviously accept. They would be better off spending the money elsewhere, and the Mets do have holes that need plugging.

They’d be better off getting something and ridding themselves of the financial obligation. Daniel Murphy, which currently lacks the power needed for first base, could further develop as a hitter for the remainder of this year and next. While Murphy might not be the long-range answer at first base, he plays the position well enough defensively to where the Mets won’t be hurt with him there next season.

With at least two starters, left field, bullpen help and bench depth, first base is NOT an immediate priority. Murphy is good enough to stick there for another year. Plus, his lack of power should, or could, be made up with Beltran’s healthy return, David Wright’s comeback from the power Twilight Zone, and possibly the addition of an outfielder.

Aug 08

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #110; Big night for Parnell.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The 51-58 Mets might be playing one of their most important games of the season tonight in San Diego when they start Bobby Parnell against the Padres.

The Mets, loaded with pitching questions, might not be the big players in the free agent market we all anticipate them to be. Therefore, if they are serious about considering Parnell for the rotation, it’s important they get some idea about him now.

As of now, the Mets have three givens in their rotation for next season: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and, like it or not, Oliver Perez. Let’s face it, Perez’s performance the other night bought him the goodwill needed to keep sending him out there. The Mets would like to count on John Maine, but the would have liked to have counted on him this season, too. Livan Hernandez has pitched will in half his starts. The other half, not so much.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.


Parnell will have a 70-pitch ceiling, which might not take him through the fifth inning. However, this is just like spring training. He’ll get ten more pitches or another inning the next time.

Parnell had been 2–3 with a 3.74 ERA in 45 2/3 innings, with 38 strikeouts. Parnell, a starter in the minors, has pitched well out of the bullpen, but his heart remains as a starter.

As a reliever, Parnell was able to get by on his 95 mph. fastball, but as a starter he’ll need to rely more on his slider, which is pretty good, and a splitter, which isn’t as refined.

Here’s the line-up behind Parnell:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 2B
Brian Schneider, C
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: John Maine will try to play catch on Monday. … Luis Castillo might be available tomorrow. … Gary Sheffield is still bothered by a sore hamstring.

Aug 07

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #109; Wagner, Delgado available.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

What we talked about the other day about the Mets looking toward next season seems to be the organization’s thinking with reports they are willing to deal reliever Billy Wagner and first baseman Carlos Delgado before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

Both players are on the disabled list, Wagner recovering from Tommy John surgery and Delgado from hip surgery, but are expected to be available this month.

WAGNER: Tears with surgery news.

WAGNER: Tears with surgery news.

Should the Mets continue to slide out of contention, the hope is they’ll be able to load up on prospects from a contender. They might not get much, but the Mets need to do something to bolster their minor league system.

Both players should clear waivers considering their salaries (Wagner, $10.5 million and Delgado, $12 million), and neither is expected to be offered arbitration and would leave as free agents.

Because Delgado isn’t as far along, he figures to be harder to deal because he wouldn’t have as much time to show he is healthy.

Tonight it’s Oliver Perez for the Mets, which usually means an uneasy night.

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 2B
Brian Schneider, C
Oliver Perez, LP

NOTE: Infielder Anderson Hernandez joined the team.

Aug 06

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #108; Brass on the trip.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Good evening. Tonight is one of those nights I wish I were still traveling with the Mets. Actually, there are a lot of them.

San Diego was always one of my favorite stops on the tour. Loved the weather and seafood. Great fish tacos. Four games in San Diego is sweet. Of course, it wasn’t for Willie Randolph last year when they lost a weekend full of heart breakers.

Interesting bit of news is Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya are on this trip. Last rites? Maybe they are doing what I suggested earlier and starting their evaluation process.

No, I don’t think they are going to sack Jerry Manuel at 3 a.m.

Livan Hernandez (7-5, 4.77 ERA) goes for the Mets against San Diego’s Clayton Richard (0-0, 1.59 ERA).

Here is the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Angel Berroa, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

NOTES: Mike Pelfrey is now the proud father of Chase Michael Pelfrey. … Gary Sheffield’s hamstring is still barking. … Bobby Parnell is now in the rotation and will start Saturday. That was Pelfrey’s spot. Pelfrey will now start Monday in Arizona. … The Mets are ushering in Anderson Hernandez II. They reacquired the second baseman from Washington. … Jon Niese was placed on the 60–day disabled list and replaced on the roster by Elmer Dessens.